OSSIPEE – Law enforcement netted nine alleged heroin dealers from Carroll County during a drug sweep Monday morning.
Arrested were Casey Morgan, 26, of Ossipee, Curt Dow, 50, of Ossipee, James M. Jennings, 19, of Ossipee, Jeffrey Lamarche, 35, of Ossipee, Steven Vantassel, 42, of Effingham, John Parsons, 21, of Effingham, Mark Galloway, 33, of Ossipee, Christopher McCarthy, 23, of Ossipee and Aerielle Glazier, 21, of Wolfeboro.
Charges relate to the possession and sale of heroin. All of them are suspected in the sale of heroin. The sweep began around 7 a.m. During the raid, a State Police SWAT Team surrounded Dow's home for about an hour before he surrendered. Dow apparently did not have a gun. Dow was out on bail from similar charges filed during a 2013 investigation. Dow was arrested by SWAT in 2013. SWAT was used in McCarthy's arrest on Monday.
"Just because we've arrested these nine, certainly doesn't mean we're at the end of all our investigations, " said Det. Sgt. Bob King of Ossipee Police. "We certainly do expect more in the coming weeks and months ahead."
King said this sweep is one of the biggest he's been apart of in his 12 years on the force. Some heroin and money was seized. King explained the significance of the sweep.
"What it means, first and foremost is how much of an epidemic this drug really is at this point," said King, adding police hope to reduce the amount of drugs sold on the street. "It's alarming to know there is this much is actually going on."
The suspects are all looking at felonies, said King. The suspects were all arrested in their own homes. He said the sweep was a "lengthy and meticulously coordinated effort" between a number of agencies. The goal was to catch the suspects by surprise.
"The main driving force behind it, if you will, is to get the the people that have been selling it rather than taking it," said King. "Unless we are out there actually taking the people who are selling it we're really not going to make a dent in it."
This drug sweep comes on the heels of another drug sweep in northern Massachusetts which resulted in 30 arrests including three people from the Mount Washington Valley.
The local suspects from the Massachusetts sweep are Felicia Lin Gray, 24, of Fryeburg, Brendon Lane, 19, of Conway, and Michael Guillet, 21, of Albany.
King said information from the Massachusetts arrests was not a factor in the Ossipee led sweep. However, King said it's possible that the suspects from both sweeps could be tied together in a way that police are unaware of.
The individuals arrested in the Ossipee sweep were "individual entrepreneurs" who have been operating for "quite some time," said King.
"There was really no one individual ring leader," said King.
Last year, Dow was charged with three counts of sale of controlled/narcotic drugs, two counts of possession of controlled/narcotic drugs, one count of possession of drugs with intent to sell and one count of a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon for allegedly having a shotgun after being convicted of drug charges in 2005. Due to the "high risk" of the situation involved with Dow's 2013 arrest, New Hampshire SWAT team took Dow into custody when he was on Chickville Road in his vehicle, according to Ossipee police last year.
Arrested with Dow last year was Alice (Call) Dow, 35, who was charged several drug-related offenses. Ossipee police arrested Alice Dow at her residence on Chickville Road. Last month, Alice Dow pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for having control of a premise where drugs were located. She received 15 days in jail pretrial confinement, according to Carroll County Attorney Robin Gordon.
During Monday's sweep, Ossipee Police was assisted by the N.H. State Police SWAT Team, Carroll County Sheriff's Office as well as the Madison, Freedom and Effingham Police Departments.
"If we get probable cause and these warrants are issued, we're not going to hesitate to kick a door down and get what we are after," said King.
Sheriff Domenic Richardi said drugs, of all types, are a wide spread problem. He pointed to the alleged meth lab that was busted in North Conway as an example.
"It's not the end of it all," said Richardi of Monday's arrests. "It's a start."
New Hampshire State Police Lt. Kevin Duffy, who is commander of the SWAT team, said the sweep was made possible by a "great investigation" by the Ossipee Police and collaboration with law enforcement. It resulted in all the individuals named being arrested without compromising public safety or officer safety.
"It was a successful day for law enforcement and the community at large," said Duffy.
Conway Police Lt. Chris Perley said the names of a couple of suspects' names sounded familiar to him. Perley said the sweep illustrates that drugs are a "real and pervasive problem." Perley praised law enforcement's effort in the Ossipee area.
"The drug bust is not only an excellent example of cooperative law enforcement efforts, but a testament to the commitment the major participants, and the law enforcement community at large, make to keep the county safe," said Perley.
A reporter asked Perley if he thought the nine arrests would curb the flow of illegal drugs into Conway.
"Whether an operation like this reduces the flow of dangerous drugs into an area is always hard to gauge," said Perley. "Factors like the level of drug activity by the participants, the stage of offender development in the drug trade, and the effect on availability of re-supply, are rarely if ever known. The fact remains, that the arrested offenders conduct and ability will certainly be curtailed."
Madison Police chief James Mullen said heroin has always been around and that it surges from time to time. Heroin abuse is related to a number of other crimes such as fraud, theft and child neglect because people tend to commit other crimes in order to get high.
"It's a problem for every community in Carroll County right now," said Mullen about heroin.
Freedom Police Chief Josh Shackford said the sweep was "well planned and well executed." Shackford said he hasn't made any heroin arrests in Freedom but says his town is not immune from it.
Heroin arrests continue to be made in other parts of the state. WMUR reported that on Friday Manchester police arrested a man on Friday for allegedly having $11,000 worth of the drug.
The suspects in Monday's sweep are expected to be in Court on Tuesday.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 07:43
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 07:42
By Erik Eisele
CONWAY — In addition to electing local officials and weighing in on budgets and warrant articles, voters on Tuesday go to the polls to choose a replacement for longtime executive councilor Ray Burton.
Burton, who represented the northern half of New Hampshire for more than three decades, died this fall of cancer. Gov. Maggie Hassan called for a special election to fill the vacancy, and two candidates are vying for the seat: Mike Cryans, a Democratic Grafton County commissioner from Hanover, and Joe Kenney, a former Republican state senator and gubernatorial candidate from Wakefield.
The executive council is a unique New Hampshire institution that oversees most of the governor's actions. The two candidates are looking to bring very different perspectives to it: Kenney, the conservative, has struck a partisan tone, while Cryans stressed his record of bipartisanship.
"Who is the proven conservative in this race?" Kenney said during the primary, in which he defeated two other Republican candidates. Throughout the campaign he has touted his experience: "When I go to Concord they know who I am."
"I know all about Maggie Hassan," he said during the primary, referring to when he worked with the governor when they were both serving in the state senate. "Who's going to keep her in check?"
Cryans, meanwhile, drew a softer line in regard to his party.
"I'm a moderate-type person," he said, definitely a Democrat but not the kind of person who wants to be a "roadblock."
"I've had no Concord experience," he said, "but I'm not sure that's a prerequisite." The executive council is unique, something no other state but New Hampshire has, so it is in a class by itself. "I'm not sure there's any job that prepares you."
Either man would have big shoes to fill. Burton was renowned for crisscrossing the district, which stretches from the Canadian border to the Lakes Region. He was known for knowing everyone, and for always putting constituents first.
"Once [Burton] was elected, he was elected to represent the people," Cryans said. The lesson, which Burton always took to heart: "If you get to go to Concord, don't forget us."
"We basically thought Ray would never pass away," Kenney said. He was "a fixture in the North Country."
And both men are looking to follow Burton's legacy.
"There's one thing that Ray Burton always said to me," Kenney said. "He said, 'You've got public service in your DNA, keep doing it.'"
When Burton died, Kenney said, "people started e-mailing me and saying, 'Hey, you'd be great for that seat because you've got proven state experience and leadership.' So I compared the folks who were running and I felt I could enter into that position with a running start."
"It came to light when I went to [Burton's] memorial service," he continued. "I knew all of the state agency heads. I knew all the political people."
"I love people," he said. "I've always put people first. I always put people first when I was in the state senate, and so it just seems like I'd be a perfect match."
Kenney, who is married to Carroll County commissioner Asha Kenney, served as a state representative in the New Hampshire House from to 1994 to 2002 and state senator from 2002 to 2008.
Cryans, meanwhile, served with Burton on the Grafton County commission. He learned a lot from working at Burton's side, he said, but he no one will ever replace him.
"I will not try to fill Ray's shoes," he said. "My goal is to do what I think is the best for the state."
"I like working with people," he said, "and serving."
He pointed to his record as a commissioner, where alongside Burton he built a new jail. They got the budget down from $60 million to $38 million, he said, then ultimately down to $33 million, and then they came in under-budget. They also built a biomass facility to cut heating costs, leveled the old jail and turned it into a park, and had money to return to the taxpayers.
Burton will not be replaced, Cryans said, but he knew he could do the job as well or better than anyone else looking to run.
"It's my intention to be out there," he said, covering the district in a manner similar to Burton, who showed up to almost every parade, every ribbon cutting.
But Cryans is not the only candidate who worked alongside Burton.
"I've worked on issues with Ray," Kenney said. "On the Scenic Vista we went ahead and got that final $500,000 capital budget bill in the senate, and then here we are a few months later we're dedicating the Scenic Vista."
"I kiddingly say 25 percent of my public service photos are with Ray Burton from Moultonborough to Wakefield to Tamworth and Conway," he said.
"I think the thing that sets me apart is really the fact that I have proven state leadership," he said. "I can lead the district."
Political observers are keeping a close eye on the race, both because of the importance of the executive council and because it could be a bellwether of things to come in November. It has been a long time since the seat was a viable shot for Democrats, although Burton's centrist perspective meant he got the votes of many Democrats even with an "R" next his name. That's one more Burton legacy for which either candidate will have to work hard if they want to emulate it.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 07:42
CONWAY — As voters go to the polls to pick an executive councilor on Tuesday, it could be the residents of Conway who lose out.
In most towns around District One, March 11 is not only a special election but it is also Town Meeting Day. Whole towns will pile into meetinghouses and gymnasiums to plan for the upcoming year. Along the way they'll also vote for either Democrat Mike Cryans or Republican Joe Kenney.
But in Conway, a town with the SB 2 form of government, there is only the special election.
Voters will get a paper ballot, according to Conway town clerk Rhoda Quint, and have one question to decide. "They'll be in a the voting booth for about two seconds."
There does not appear to be a lot of energy among voters locally, she said. "It's not a hot item. It just isn't." That compounds with a general lack of understanding about what the executive council does and how important it is. Conway has roughly 6,000 registered voters, she said, but it's unlikely there will be a strong turnout.
That could result in Conway having a disproportionately smaller impact on the Kenney/Cryans election. If other towns see strong turnouts because of town meeting, but Conway sees a week turnout for a single-issue vote, smaller communities may wind up having much more say in the outcome.
"That will affect us," Quint said. People turn out for town meeting. They don't usually come out in strong numbers for special elections.
That's why it's important to get the word out, she said, so residents can make their vote count.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 07:42
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 07:42
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